Sunday, July 8, 2012

Getting out of the house with a toddler - Terhune Orchards, Princeton

Parking lot at Terhune Orchards
Having said farewell to our silver minivan in October 2011, I will now have better luck finding my car in the parking lot.

First, about half of Mercer County has a Princeton address regardless of its proximity to Princeton.

U.S. 1 business newspaper real estate listings crow, "Princeton address," though the location may be 20 minutes away from Princeton Township. I suppose that's desirable, otherwise it would not be mentioned. A Princeton address does not guarantee a Princeton Public Library card. Believe me, I've observed library staff informing an individual with a Princeton address that she just wasn't Princeton enough.

With that local trivia out of the way, I can say that going to Terhune Orchards with my toddler is a lot more fun than when I was on the other side of the counter. It was a decent place to work and a good way to earn a paycheck while I settled back into New Jersey, but it was still lowdown retail work.

While an employee, I helped connect people to their farmer. I answered important questions such as:

There are puddles here? 
Yes. It rained recently.
Oh. [Surprised.]
That's a statement, but a parent made that statement and put a question mark at the end of it.

What is this? 
Potted lettuce from the greenhouse.
How did you get it in here? customer asks while pointing to the pot.
We planted seeds in the pot.
Wait, lettuce grows from a seed?

What can I pick today?
Nothing is growing.
There is nothing to pick?
It's January, there is snow on the ground.
Customer leaves. Returns minutes later. Perhaps his companions in the parking lot pressed him to ask again.
What can I pick today? 

From a customer's perspective, my son petted a goat reluctantly, observed ducks, geese, sheep, and an ancient horse, rode a few decommissioned tractors. Inside the store, he nibbled on a free apple while I shopped.

I am rather unlike the hundreds of men, women and children who attend the farm's festivals. I would never want to be around hundred of men, women and children at a farm festival. A quiet weekday is just fine.

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